It’s not a big deal, but just so you guys know, coaches are in touch with Vinny Del Negro on the regular. Like don’t even worry about it, because they totally are texting him and stuff all the time.
As Del Negro shoveled some popcorn into his mouth, he unearthed his BlackBerry out of his pocket. He squinted at the screen, held it up and said, “Fifty-two [text] messages. I bet there are five pro coaches in here.” [...]
He started to scroll the messages, and there was a congratulatory text from Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “Rick always calls me … and Doc [Rivers] … And Pop … ”
He thinks for a moment. “And Mike Fratello, he calls.” [...]
“They’ll talk to me,” Del Negro said. “That’s what coaches do.”
For as much of a joke as Vinny Del Negro has been throughout his coaching career, he did a great job in the Clippers’ first round series. Well, relatively great, as there were still times when Vinny made obvious mistakes — not playing Chris Paul until Chris Paul insisted on being put back in, calling timeouts that allowed the Grizzlies defense to set things up when everything would have worked out fine for the Clippers if they had just kept going, playing Chris Paul after being told by trainers that he should be out of the game — but he was still a bit better than Lionel Hollins. And hey, that might have been enough to win the Clippers the series, which is unfathomable to even consider.
And that’s why everyone is calling him, because he’s a real coach. He’s got a Blackberry and people just like to check in from time to time. Maybe it’s a call or an email or just a funny picture that Gregg Popovich saw when he was in the supermarket, but these guys definitely get in touch with Vinny Del Negro pretty regularly. He’s got a great data plan and unlimited texting, so it’s nothing to worry about. He can expense the bill, no problem.
Just as long as we all know that Vinny Del Negro has buddies in the NBA, it’s cool. Hit him up whenever, 281-330-8004. He’ll pick up if he can, but he’s kind of busy with prepping for this second round series, so leave a voicemail. He’ll get back to you.